Report by Anand Datla
October 11, 2014: Perhaps the gods of golf were offended by the low scores that marked the start of the Portugal Masters this week. They unleashed a furious storm on the Oceanico Victoria Golf Club in Vilamoura to force the event to be decided after just two rounds of golf. That was enough for Alexander Levy to post an 18-under score of 124 to claim a three shot victory ahead of Nicolas Colsaerts. Jeev Milkha Singh had forced his way into the weekend with a 67 in the second round. The Indian was one under through 16 holes in the third round when rain again brought an early closure to the event.
Milkha Singh started off with a bogey five at the third hole before posting consecutive birdies at the next two holes to immediately recover below par. The Chandigarh golfer went on an even streak from there as he marched quick enough to nearly complete his round before the rains arrived. Eventually though, it did not really matter as the tournament was decided based on the scores at the end of the second round.
The tournament will be perhaps remembered mainly also for the near 59 from Nicolas Colsearts in the first round on Thursday. At that point, the Belgian who shot 60 enjoyed a three shot lead over Levy. But after rain delayed the completion on Friday, Levy struck back with a 61 of his own to snatch the lead from the Belgian.
With the weather playing truant through the rest of the weekend, that effort was enough in the end to hand Levy victory in his maiden attempt at the event. Tournament Director José Maria Zamora was a disappointed man. “The forecast for the final round was fine, but after two unexpected very heavy downpours on a course already saturated, it would have taken several hours to make it playable again,” informed Zamora. “Over the course of the week we had 75mm of rain, and 12mm this afternoon, and unfortunately we had to curtail the tournament after 36 holes despite the tireless work of the greenkeeping staff.”
“It feels very special, if at the start of the year you had said I would win two tournaments I would say ‘never!’ to you,” said Levy, referring to his victories at the Volvo China Open and the Portugal Masters. “It’s a very nice feeling and I’m very happy. I work hard on this game and I think I played a good game this week. I played only four shots at the weekend and I won the tournament, but the most important thing is I have the trophy in my hand.”